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Venus Williams says goodbye to the fans

Photo: Javier Garcia / IMAGO / Shutterstock

Tennis star Venus Williams suffered a bitter defeat at her 24th US Open. The 43-year-old American lost 74-1, 6-1 to unseeded Belgian Greet Minnen in 6 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium and had no chance at all. Nevertheless, the audience said goodbye to the two-time winner of the Grand Slam tournament in New York with thunderous applause after her 100th US Open match.

"It was really great to hear the support. I know the fans have always been there for me, so it's fantastic to have that support even more than ever," said Williams, the oldest player on the field. So it's a beautiful thing and I love the Open." Williams won the US Open in 2000 and 2001 and participated in the tournament in four different decades.

After an injury break of more than six months, Williams had fought his way back to the professional tour this season. At the WTA tournament in Cincinnati, she won a match against a player from the top 20 in the world for the first time in four years and reached the second round. However, she had to cancel her US Open dress rehearsal in Cleveland the week after due to knee problems and was now physically far from her top form.

Lys only takes 64 minutes

Eva Lys fared better than Williams. The 21-year-old from Hamburg defeated Robin Montgomery from the USA 64-6, 2-6 in just 1 minutes and became the second German tennis player after Tamara Korpatsch to reach the second round. Lys showed a very serene performance against the powerful 18-year-old American, who won the junior competition in 2021. Lys achieved her first ever victory in a Grand Slam tournament.

"Of course, it's the biggest success of my career so far, I only have the best emotions you can have on the pitch," said the top German talent. In the next round she will meet the Italian Lucia Bronzetti, who surprisingly won against the number twelve seeded Barbora Krejčíková from the Czech Republic. Lys had already fought his way through qualification in New York and gave up only nine games in three games.

Before Lys, Korpatsch had won in straight sets against Irina-Camelia Begu from Romania and now faces Lyudmila Samsonova from Russia. Tatjana Maria, Anna-Lena Friedsam and Laura Siegemund, on the other hand, were eliminated in the first round.

Wawrinka becomes the oldest player to win since 1992

While Williams was eliminated in the first round, another oldie made it into round two: the Swiss Stan Wawrinka. The former tournament winner is the oldest professional to win a match at the US Open in 31 years. The 38-year-old Swiss, who triumphed in New York in 2016, won his first-round duel against Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-4.

"I know where I stand at the moment. I know I can beat some really good players," Wawrinka said. He doesn't constantly try to compare his performance with that of the past. "I can be really competitive. I'm moving well," added Stan the Man, who now faces Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

Koepfer twists his ankle

The hope of the big surprise coup at the US Open has only held eight rallies for Dominik Koepfer. The 29-year-old twisted his ankle in the first round duel with the Spanish defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in the first game. After that, the world number 75 moved. no longer round and had no chance with a bandaged left ankle. After an hour, Koepfer gave up with a score of 2: 6, 2: 3 because of the problems.

He probably tore a ligament, Koepfer reported from an initial diagnosis. But nothing is broken. "I knew that was it," he said of the moment he twisted his ankle. "But when you play in front of more than 20,000 spectators, against the number one in the world, the first time on Ashe, you definitely don't give up immediately."

"We have to pay tribute to him, hopefully we'll see him back on the pitch soon," said world number one Alcaraz in the winner's interview at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The 20-year-old will now meet South African Lloyd Harris in the second round.

For the second German tennis player, his first-round game under floodlights also ended disappointingly with a clear defeat. Yannick Hanfmann, 31, was clearly defeated by the number six seeded Italian Jannik Sinner 3: 6, 1: 6, 1: 6.

This means that there are still two German tennis players in the men's singles competition at the Grand Slam tournament in New York. After their first-round victories, Olympic champion Alexander Zverev and Daniel Altmaier will meet in the duel of Davis Cup teammates on Thursday.